040 – Brennan Lowery – Lasting Impact
Looking at Kate Spade’s successful supply-chain social responsibility program in Rwanda… Why would Kate Spade New York, an iconic brand with a global presence, extend a part of its supply chain, taking on major challenges, to go into a developing country? A fashion consultant supported a social responsibility program that was successful, with profitability and lasting impact focused on empowering women. Brennan Lowery, a consultant in the social responsibility and business development space, and a former Program Manager for Karisimbi Business Partners, a partner of Kate Spade New York’s On Purpose CSR program in Rwanda, joins Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. In this episode: A look at why Kate Spade New York decided to undertake the program and initiative in Rwanda The meaning for employees of a brand that’s willing to spend money outside of their internal needs Being committed to seeing women empowered in different parts of world, transforming community, creating a new cutting-edge model for the space of social enterprise The opportunity for a developing country to compete in a world of global suppliers Participation by a number of partners and experts as part of plan in Rwanda, plus cooperation and support by both US and Rwandan governments Each Rwanda employee (mostly women) averages 4.5 dependents, and the initiative resulted in positive impact on other local business The need for a brand to be telling a story about the specific products coming out of a developing country that it is benefitting The goal to work oneself out of a job, and hire a Rwandan in one’s place The need in more parts of East Africa, and between Central and South America Find pockets and create jobs, teach skills and provide training Evaluating what space a brand wants to impact, greater meaning for employees and consumers, and the need to see transformation What motivated Lowery and what planted the seed with the brand A dream of hospitality with meaning How there is still a lot of work to be done, and a need to do something See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.